Why Abused Spouses go Back to Their Abusers (Pt 2)

A close-up of a woman's face. She is crying and she has her head in her hands.
Victims of domestic violence have many reasons why they don’t “just leave” and many of those reasons never occur to people in non-abusive relationships.

Welcome back and thanks for joining us for this discussion about abusive marriages, and why it can be so hard to leave an abusive partner. Many people who have never been in an abusive relationship don’t understand why victims don’t just leave and file for divorce. It can seem like such a simple solution. And yet there’s so much more to consider. As we mentioned in the previous article, fear and low self-esteem can both play a huge role in why people struggle to leave abusive marriages. But those aren’t the only reasons…

Shame and embarrassment are compelling reasons too.

People in abusive relationships are often very embarrassed about it. They feel social pressure to be in a perfect relationship and so the fact that their marriage is anything but makes them feel like a failure. The fear of being judged by people who wonder why they put up with it, or why they didn’t just pack their bags and go, makes it that much harder. People in abusive relationships are often pitied, blamed, marginalized or even condemned by others when the abuse becomes public. For some, that would make a bad thing worse, and so they would rather suffer in silence.

Not being believed is a very real concern for abuse victims.

There are many instances where an abusive partner is also a recognized member of their community or someone who has cultivated a public persona that would make allegations of abuse difficult to believe. People whose partners are priests, tenured professors, esteemed therapists, and other people viewed as intelligent and helpful by their social circles sometimes encounter disbelief when they try to break free from abusive relationships. Fear of being called a liar, or of being an “attention-seeker” can keep victims trapped in abusive relationships. There’s nothing like being certain that no one will believe you to keep you from talking. (Which is often exactly what an abuser wants.)

The cycle of bad-good-bad is hard to break

Abusive partners know that what they’re doing is wrong and they’re often very repentant when they’ve stepped over the line. That “honeymoon period” following an episode of abuse, when your spouse is remorseful and making every effort to be extra kind and loving, can make the abusive episode feel unreal as if it didn’t happen. Add to that the fact that the abusive partner is usually very apologetic, and makes promises that they’ll never do it again, which is what the victim wants to believe.

Getting divorced from an abusive partner requires a very specific type of help

Here at The Kronzek Firm we’ve helped many people escape abusive marriages, and move on to safer, happier futures. But it’s not an easy process, and we understand how frightening and overwhelming it can be. Just the very act of calling an attorney to discuss the possibility of divorce can feel like a monumental act when you’re trapped in a cycle of violence. We understand what you’re dealing with, and we can help. As soon as you’re ready, call 866 766 5245. Our skilled and compassionate family law attorneys are standing by, 24/7, to help you get to safety.